California winemaker Erich Russell founded Rabbit Ridge Winery and Vineyards in 1981, in Healdsburg CA, building a substantial operation. In 1996, he married the lovely Joanne James, a native of St. Petersburg FL. In 2001, they relocated Rabbit Ridge to the fast growing central California area of Paso Robles. The area’s calcareous soil conditions are very similar to France’s Rhone Valley, a part of Europe that Erich Russell knows intimately. He has visited and studied Rhone winemaking for decades. Implementing design ideas from Tuscany and France, Erich and Joanne have built a stunning winery that is both regal in look and Old World in feeling. Rabbit Ridge Vineyards today farms over 200 acres of premium grapes, producing 10,000 cases of delicious Rhone-style wines sold nationwide. The next generation is prepping to take the reins. Daughter Sarah and husband Brice Garrett manage the Rabbit Ridge tasting room and produce their own wine label called Serrano. Join the Russell family on a remarkable voyage and wine extravaganza down the beautiful Rhone River, France’s nautical highway since the time of Julius Caesar.
Please note: This Rhone River Cruise 2019 (hosted by Rabbit Ridge Winery & Vineyards) tour and cruise program is created by our tour operator, Expanding Horizons of Tustin, CA in conjunction with AmaWaterways. The pre and/or post cruise tour program may contain private meals, tours and/or visits to attractions. These additional services are exclusive to guests on this cruise who book their reservations with Expanding Horizons. Persons booking with alternative travel agencies will not be included in these activities.